Carr stumps in Marshall County
Joe Carr spent Wednesday in Marshall County speaking to residents he hopes will soon be his constituents.
“I’m connected to Marshall County and the culture very easily,” said the sixth generation Tennessean who lives in Lascassas in Rutherford County.
Carr is running in the special election to fill the remaining term of the 14th District seat in the state Senate.
Thirteen-year incumbent Jim Tracy stepped down in November after accepting the Federal nomination to serve as the Director for Rural Development for Tennessee in the United States Department of Agriculture.
The 14th Senate District includes Marshall, Lincoln, Bedford, Moore, and part of Rutherford Counties.
“We’re doing very well,” Carr said of his visit yesterday. “We’re exceeding our expectations.”
Carr is no stranger to the State Legislature, having served three terms as Representative for the 48th District in Rutherford County.
He stepped down from his seat in 2014 in order to challenge Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary for the United States Senate.
Carr ran well against the incumbent, receiving more than 40 percent of the vote, losing the nomination by fewer than 10 percentage points.
He pointed out that he won both Marshall County and the 14th District as a whole in the race against Alexander.
“I have a demonstrated track record of achievement in the six years I was in the General Assembly,” he said, “and I think whoever is elected needs to hit the ground running--they are going up there in the middle of the session.”
The special election to fill Tracy’s term will be decided on March 13, after the start of the session in January.
While in the legislature, Carr spearheaded restrictions on illegal immigration and repeal of the state’s gift and inheritance taxes, among other issues.
He cited continued economic development within the district as a key issue for this race.
“It’s not enough to bring jobs,” he said. “We need to bring industry that raises the median wage.”
The benefits of higher wage jobs lift every other aspect of a community, he added, strengthening education and services, while also increasing the attractiveness of a community for further industry and development.
“We need to think bigger,” said Carr. “How do we increase our tax base while also maintaining our culture and values.”
He also said that the state has not done enough yet to improve education standards, citing standardized testing specifically.
“It’s now becoming an impediment to academic excellence,” Carr said. “We are over-testing our students.”
Carr feels that he is a good fit to represent Marshall County in Nashville.
“I think I have the morals, the ethics, and the conservative background which reflects accurately those of this community,” Carr said, “which is why I’m asking the good people of Marshall County to vote for Joe Carr.”
Carr is one of three Republicans who have so far announced their candidacy for the seat, along with Shane Reeves of Murfreesboro and Billy Spivey of Lewisburg.
Gayle Jordan, who ran against Tracy as the Democratic nominee during the last election, has also indicated she would run again for the seat.
As of this writing, the Marshall County Election Commission said that none of the candidates has yet submitted the required paperwork.
Deadline for entering the race is Dec. 15.
The primary election will be held on Jan. 25, with early voting starting on Jan. 5.